The Ellis Family

This is a family you have seen on my blog for years and one that I love. Christine was Megan’s friend in high school and she and Jason actually set up Robby and Megan’s first meeting when they all attended BSU. They have three boys that are busy, robust, adventurous, and so handsome. Quincy turns 13 in November (I can hardly believe it), Cooper is 5-½, and Carter will be two in November. Now, with most 2 year olds, you never know what you’ll get. All I can say is you get lucky sometimes with a fast camera, and then again, sometimes they still outrun me! 🙂

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Megan - October 29, 2015 - 5:12 PM

LOVE this family! Those boys keep getting more handsome, as if that is even possible. The parents are aging beautifully, and this family always has the best shoes. Always!

Vince - October 30, 2015 - 11:05 AM

I agree with Megan about the parents looking so young. I can easily imagine one of these photos on their annual Christmas card. You certainly are busy lately, Mary. (I guess it comes with the season, huh?)

Fairly Candid - October 30, 2015 - 11:27 AM

I thought your family was tall Megan, but Quincy just keeps out-talling himself. Cooper too. And I told Christine I loved her boots too. Such a little fashionista!

Fairly Candid - October 30, 2015 - 11:27 AM

Hi Vince, yes tis the season (do you hear the bells?).

Christine Ellis - October 30, 2015 - 1:24 PM

Well I don’t know about looking young but I do heart these pictures! The pictures of the boys are so adorable! And hello Quincy…when did you get such a fabulous natural looking smile?!

Fairly Candid - October 30, 2015 - 9:09 PM

It’s always fun to see our kiddos from a different person’s perspective I think. I love that the boys love tall. There are no shrinking violets in your family and I love that!

Liz - October 30, 2015 - 9:38 PM

So awesome!

Baby Cole Isaac

Cole is changing by the day and just turned 5 months. I thought I would give you a smile by sharing a few random pics of this cutie-pie from the past month. I know, I’m thoughtful that way. 🙂 He has lost most of his dark brown hair and is getting something lighter, has two teeth, rolls both ways, and sits up … until he falls down of course. Ha! He’s getting the hang of it though, and what a sweet happy baby he is. He is pretty tolerant of his sister’s constant mothering too. He’s a big boy at over 18 pounds but he has to be to get tall like his daddy at 6’8″. Love you Baby Cole Gerichs.

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And to let you know he can hang with the big kids, here’s proof. It’s the place my g-babes like to be most, and the place I most like them to be … in the room they each call their own. The bed is a murphy bed and flips up onto the wall to look like a cabinet giving them lots of room to play.

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And to wish you the happiest of Halloween coming up, here’s our littlest punkin’ as a new 5 month old.

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THE END

Megan - October 25, 2015 - 8:56 PM

I LOVE every.single.picture.in this post! Argh! He’s so cute! If we’re playing favorites, I love the one of him in the box with his gorgeous eyes staring at you…And I adore how well the cousin picture on your bed came out. And him in the pumpkin, and his naked butt. Ok, well like I said. Every. Single. Picture. LOVE him! LOVE you!

Fairly Candid - October 26, 2015 - 7:50 AM

He IS pretty cute, I’ll have to agree.

Liz - October 26, 2015 - 7:46 PM

LOVE all these!

Vince - October 28, 2015 - 10:30 AM

Oh he is too cute, and those setups are perfect.

Diane - October 28, 2015 - 7:27 PM

Oh your grandbabies are so cute. Love the picture of baby Cole with the bow tie and the pumpkin butt….

Fairly Candid - October 30, 2015 - 11:28 AM

Liz, Vince, Diane, thank you for viewing to see what I get to see often. I have to say though that this baby was never a baby for long. He grew FAST!

Mouser/Graves

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the people in this post that consist of my son’s family and Danielle’s mom and sister who were here on vacation for MJ’s 6th birthday. Woo hoo! Happy birthday MJ (now known in Kindergarten as Matthew by his choice). Angie, Danielle’s mom, moved back to Maryland this past May to spend time with her mom while Meagan, Danielle’s only sibling, moved to work in the Washington DC area a few months before that. It’s been a transition for Danielle and the boys to have them so far away but they text and talk daily so thank goodness for our instant technology. It was a crazy, busy, and fun week for them preparing for MJ’s party on Saturday, seeing friends, watching the boys play soccer (at 7:40 AM), taking a birthday trip to Linder Farms, and getting family pictures to mention only a few of what went on. They went back home on Wednesday, no doubt exhausted but sharing the memories of the week once back to their new homes. As for the photo session, it was a perfect night with beautiful cloudy skies at a beautiful location. I will warn you that this is a longer post than normal, but I didn’t want to stop. Besides, they were treating me to dinner afterwards and I wasn’t quite hungry yet so kept stalling with more pictures. I don’t recall one single complaint. 🙂 Dinner at Casa Mexico was extra fun afterwards and knowing these images will create smiles for years, I am a happy girl. Love you all!

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This is what silly in a 3-½ and 31 year old looks like._MG_3939_Matt-Jayden-Oct 2015_MG_4001_WEB

And this is what cool in a 6 year old looks like.

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And lookie here, the photographer even got in a picture!

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Danielle - October 23, 2015 - 10:52 PM

Ok I PROMISE I wasn’t stalking your site!! I was getting on to email my grandma Mj’s birthday post and I was totally surprised to see these! LOVE LOVE LOVE them, and I’m so excited to have so many great pictures of the people I love. They turned out even better than I could have ever imagined. You have a true talent, and I’m blessed to have you. Love you and thank you again 🙂

Fairly Candid - October 24, 2015 - 8:37 AM

That’s OK Danielle, I love blog stalkers. 🙂

Vince - October 24, 2015 - 11:12 AM

Stalker #2 here. These are wonderful! Such a nice-looking family, and it’s good to see Angie. If she’s still here, please say hi for me.

Fairly Candid - October 24, 2015 - 3:56 PM

No Vince, they were here Wednesday to Wednesday, but I’ll still pass it along.

Linda - October 25, 2015 - 12:54 AM

I love these people and these pictures. Do you do something extra-special when you love the subjects? Actually, now that I think about it, you might love all your subjects!

Kathy G - October 25, 2015 - 8:46 AM

Now that is one good lookin’ family. Where is the site? I’m glad you got one of you and Mike in there.

Fairly Candid - October 26, 2015 - 7:47 AM

Possibly true Linda … I do get into my sessions!

Fairly Candid - October 26, 2015 - 7:49 AM

The site was at a beautiful location Kathy, just like my post said. Ha! (Photographer’s secret!) Yes, I was happy to have a picture too. It doesn’t happen as often as you’d think.

Happy 6th Birthday MJ!

Boys will be boys, but boys will be little men too. They will get dirty but clean up handsome like their daddies. They will use their good manners taught by their mommies, tell silly jokes then laugh like their grampa’s. They will hug and say I love you’s and squeeze their Gramma’s legs as they run out the door to whatever adventure lies next in their ever expanding world. They will find fellowship with Auntie’s and Uncles and Cousins. One day they are a pirate, the next a cowboy, the next a super hero, but always someone so special that you just want to freeze them at the times you love them most, then send them home at the times you are most tired. They will grow older, but grow sweeter at the same time. They will pull out teeth with a string tied to their remote control car but still cry for a hug when they get hurt on the soccer field. This particular boy and his brother are mine to enjoy, gifted by the Lord most high to a family I call my own. MJ, my oldest g-babe is now 6. I liked that he was 5 but he didn’t listen to me and got older, on his way to learning what it means to be a good student, athlete, citizen. Happy birthday Big Guy! Love, hugs, and smoochy kisses, Gramma XXO (Feeling nostalgically sentimental over here … could you tell?)

MJ’s party was on Saturday, October 17. There were a bunch of family, friends, and school mates there. Grammy and Auntie Meagan were also here for the party, coming from Maryland and Washington DC. Charlie, the “free range rabbit” as the kids call him, also came out to see what the fuss was all about. He hops in and out of his cage in the chicken coop at will.

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On MJ’s actual birthday of October 20th, the family met at Linder Farms for some play and pumpkin-picking.

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Danielle bought a wrist band and jumped in on the fun that night too. She did the trampoline then rode the bull after MJ — in fact she rode it 3 times trying to redeem herself from falling off — which she always did in slow motion. Maybe she’s not ready for the rodeo quite yet.

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On Thursday, Oct 22, MJ’s Kindergarten class got to go to Linder Farms to learn the cycle of how a pumpkin grows and to pick a pumpkin. It was his first class field trip and they got to take the bus. Big stuff here for “Kinders” as his teacher, Mrs. Ball, calls them._MG_4226_web_MG_4195_web_MG_4207_web_MG_4209_web

Danielle, Jayden and I got to go too … but Jayden didn’t get to ride the bus which he thought was highly unfair. He got a pumpkin though. 🙂

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This is actually both kindergarten classes from Morley Nelson. Can you find my tall g-babe towering above the others?

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And lastly, as an an update, this now 6 year old’s cast will hopefully be coming off today (October 23) after 4 weeks. He’s got the signatures of all his favorite people on it but it’s time to move on from this chapter of this boy’s life. Love you Matey!

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Tracey - October 23, 2015 - 7:52 AM

Love the Pics Mary. I can’t believe MJ is 6. Where did the time go?? Your grandchildren are so special and no one has to tell you all to cherish the moments because you all seem to realize how special these times are. Love to you all and thank you so much for sharing your family.

Fairly Candid - October 23, 2015 - 8:35 AM

Tracy, that is so nice. It does go fast and there are so many g-babes now to keep up with! I’m trying but I think they might outrun me one day soon! Ha! Mary

Auntie Megan - October 23, 2015 - 9:12 AM

Possibly one of the top 3 best write ups in your blog history. I LOVED that first paragraph. I LOVE that little man you’re talking about too…especially the hugs and I love yous I’m privy to. He’s a good kid, that one…but I agree. Six just sounds too old.

Danielle - October 23, 2015 - 1:30 PM

I always love your write-ups on the boys, but this post takes the prize. I tearfully read that post with a huge smile on my face knowing that my son was most definitely all of those things you described him as. Thank you for this! We sure do love you!!

mary - October 23, 2015 - 4:40 PM

Another great job on pics and writing. Your such a good grandma.
Just celebrated Alex ‘ s 21st birthday now that’s old!

Fairly Candid - October 23, 2015 - 7:17 PM

Hey Mary, I learned it from the BEST — YOU! You know I always thought you were the best Grandma a kid could have. You’re awesome and have taught me so much. 🙂 And thank you Megan and Danielle for your sweet words. Love you girls who are such good momma’s to my g-babes.

Vince - October 24, 2015 - 11:16 AM

I agree with Megan — I enjoyed your text more than usual. “I liked that he was 5 but he didn’t listen to me and got older” — that’s good! Looks like I should put Linder Farms on my bucket list.

Fairly Candid - October 26, 2015 - 7:51 AM

Thank you Vince … means a lot coming from your literary expertise. You can use it sometime if you want. Haha!

The Hackney Family

Boys will be boys and this family has lots of them! Four in fact … Ethan 10, Nathanial 9 (who was feeling downright crappy this session, poor guy), Nolan almost 8, and Eli who will be two in November and who runs this pony show. And when I say run, I mean that literally. He was on the go! :-)The coolest thing about this session was watching the older boys love on Eli. They were devoted to that boy and when you see him, you’ll know why. He is quite the bright spark in the family with his flowing locks of blonde, big smile, and bursting energy. So handsome all these boys. I’ve never met them before but could see their funny and sweet personalities coming out in-between shots. Oh and all the boys play baseball so we decided to take to the baseball fields for a few images as well. The boys got to give me their most intimidating baseball looks. Trust me, there were lots of laughs trying to get them to drop the smiles, but I love the outcome. Hope you all do too, and Gwyneth and Michael, I am impressed with your fun family. Thanks for just letting boys be boys and asking me to be a part of it. Mary

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Vince - October 20, 2015 - 1:44 PM

Thank goodness for the last few pictures — I was beginning to wonder where their parents were!

Fairly Candid - October 20, 2015 - 5:15 PM

Four boys Vince … four. Don’t you think you might want to run fast and far once in awhile! 🙂

The Heyer Family

I got the fun of photographing the Heyer family — Bill and Alyson (married 11 years), and twins Carson (in green) and Weston (in blue) two years ago when they were in transition from selling their home and looking for another. Now this year, they are celebrating one year in a house they built near the Boise River. It’s so so pretty and the back yard has the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G view! You’ll see it towards the end of this post with their sweet 8 year old Labradoodle dog named Jasper. The boys just recently celebrated their 5-½ year mark and are just as handsome as ever. This is a beautiful family in every way. Enjoy! Mary

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Vince - October 17, 2015 - 8:28 AM

Nice-looking family. I’m so glad someone still takes black and white photos!

Fairly Candid - October 18, 2015 - 11:11 PM

Once in a while. 🙂

Sheila Clark - October 19, 2016 - 3:29 PM

Alyson, wow! The boys are growing up fast and these were a year ago!! What a great looking family!
Mary, great job!

The Wickham Family

I love this job for the fact that I get to know some pretty nice people, and Blake and Sara are two of them. Blake is my friend Gloria’s son and you’ve seen them before on my blog when I shot their wedding three years ago this month. Congratulations you two! Then two and a half years later they had Addi (Addilea) who is now 7 months old. She was born Valentine’s Day and if you’d like, you can be reminded of her newborn session here, or her four month pictures with cousin Lily here. She hasn’t changed much – except to only get cuter. 🙂 I love her chunkiness that she will one day outgrow, her sparse head of hair that will eventually be locks of blond, and her still serious look at my big black box. Naturally at home she gives out the smiles and giggles much more freely but that wasn’t happening with me. We all decided later we needed her Grampa or Gramma on the scene to get the big smiles. Still the serious looks are always some of my favorites. She is at the perfect age to photograph as she is sitting up on her own but not crawling so you can put her down and she stays put! We did have some issues with her wanting to eat the grass and dirt, but hey it’s all natural right? Blake and Sara, and sweet Addi, you guys were awesome to hang with and thank you for walking the green mile with me!

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And to finish our beautiful session, I got the rare joy of photographing this unafraid fellow.

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Sara - October 9, 2015 - 7:12 AM

OMG Mary! I’ve been checking your blog obsessively the past few days, excitedly awaiting these pictures! And I wasn’t at all disappointed! They are fantastic! Thank you so much for giving us some wonderful family shots!!!

Cody - October 9, 2015 - 8:28 AM

Love these!

Fairly Candid - October 9, 2015 - 8:55 AM

Sara, you gave me a BIG smile this morning! I love obsessive blog checkers. Ha! So glad you love them. I loved them too. And thank you my fine co-worker Cody for chiming in too!

Vince - October 9, 2015 - 10:27 AM

These are adorable, and what a cute baby! Where is the “green mile”? (That makes me a little nervous — have you seen the movie?)

Fairly Candid - October 9, 2015 - 3:21 PM

Yes, I’ve seen it — I live with Mike remember? We parked at the far end of a river then walked “the green mile” to the other end taking pictures. We had to carry stuff over fallen trees, around sand pits, through tall grass … get the idea? 🙂

Gloria - October 9, 2015 - 4:18 PM

I love these photos! Addi seemed so serious in most of them. That little girl is a studier. She is more interested in what’s going on around her then having fun in the moment. I noticed you were able to get a couple of her smiling and having fun. Good job Mary! Blake and Sara made up for what Addi didn’t give with smiles. They are very proud parents! As they should be!! Love your proud Grandma!

Megan - October 10, 2015 - 10:40 PM

If that little Addi isn’t sweeter than peach pie, I don’t know who is. LOVE all the solo ones of that little beauty.

Fairly Candid - October 11, 2015 - 9:32 PM

Sorry so late in commenting back to you Gloria (and Megan) but I had a busy fulfilling weekend with all my g-babes. I know what you mean about the smiles on your big kids — they truly love this little girl with all their being — and isn’t it just the way it’s supposed to be! It’s a beautiful thing to witness. Babies are truly blessings aren’t they!

The Swails Family

Gus, Henry and Peter are back in their signature plaid shirts and untamed manes — seriously, can they get any cuter?! This family is so fun and Nick and Amanda are always on board for anything. Just try and tell me you wouldn’t want to be an almost 4 year old or 6-½ year old boy living in this family! Nine years of marriage and three boys later, Nick and Amanda are still going strong and keeping up with them — um, most of the time. They try to get away for a break when they can, but something just keeps holding them back. I will never forget the first time I met Amanda. She came with Henry and Peter to my house for First Birthday pictures. I suggested a “cake smash” so she brought cupcakes with bright red frosting. A few minutes into the cupcakes (at the end of our session) it looked more like a murder scene than a cake smash and as quickly as we could we were each going for a boy before my entire room was painted red! We took them straight to the bathtub! I only wish I had a few pictures of the room before I cleaned it up but nope. You can see their one year pics heretheir almost two year pics, and almost three year pics should you want to see more cuteness. Amanda and Nick, thank you for a wonderfully fun session with your handsome crew! Enjoy! Mary_MG_2980_web

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Sara Swails - October 1, 2015 - 2:54 PM

Well Mary, you’ve done it again! Super fantastic photos of my daughter & her family. . I look forward to seeing these every year! Thank you so much for your creativity!
Sara Swails (Amanda’s mom)

Vince - October 1, 2015 - 4:03 PM

Mary, I’m always amazed at how spontaneous you can make a picture look. This appears to be one happy family. (Amanda looks a little like Britney Spears around the eyes and mouth.)

Rose Sheehy - October 1, 2015 - 7:07 PM

Amanda sure looks like you Sara! I can see the Beckord genes! Loved the pictures.

Fairly Candid - October 2, 2015 - 8:39 AM

Thank you Sara. And Vince, I don’t think there are any appearances of a happy family … I’d say they are one! Thanks Rose and Grandpa Mike for leaving a nice comment for Amanda (and me).

Grandpa Mike - October 2, 2015 - 9:30 AM

Great pictures. Such handsome boys!

Breta Bishop - October 2, 2015 - 8:42 PM

Amanda, Great pics. Completely you, no stuffy outfits indoors in front of a white screen or next to a fake tree. Boys are getting big. I would tell you my favorites, but there are too many!! Hope all is well.

Fairly Candid - October 3, 2015 - 10:47 AM

Thanks for the sweet comment Breta. Mary

The Johnston’s Et Al

We know almost everything about each other, Linda and I, and that’s a good thing. 😉 We love each other’s kids, we share grand-kid stories, we Bible Study together, camp together, Cannon Beach together, play games together, yurt together, and share meals together. When it comes to good friends, I am blessed to have several and she is definitely right up there at the top and Mike would say the same about Guy. We go way back to when our kids were smaller and we met at First Baptist Church and since all her kids attend there weekly too, I’ve gotten to see the pregnancies, hear about the births, and watch the kids grow up. When you have a big family it’s hard to even think about pictures … trying to find a day that everyone can attend is practically impossible … where to take the pictures is a challenge … and trying to figure out what to wear is the worst … but Linda made it happen and here they are! I was nervous — there are 17 family members after all and I rarely shoot multi-family sessions (and for good reason) — but they made it super easy on me because everyone is so mellow and went with my chaotic flow. Linda and Guy live in the Boise foothills so that’s where we shot these — right out in the bright sun — which was a challenge for me for sure, but squinting eyes or not, we have family pictures people! Woo hoo!

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April is the oldest and is married to Jeremy. They have Abi who is 10 and in 6th grade and Micah who is 7 and in 2nd grade.

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Jenness is the second oldest and Lily is her daughter. She is also 7 and in 2nd grade.

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Leah was born 3rd and is married to Justin. They have Joe who is 12 and in 7th grade, Carson who is 10 and in 4th grade, and Jacob who is also 7 and in 2nd grade. He, Lily and Micah were all born within a three-month period. Oh, and then there is Gracie. (She looks graceful doesn’t she? Not so much.)

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James is the youngest and is married to Cassi and they have twins Paige and Cooper who turned 2 in July. There were a bit overwhelmed at the hustle-bustle of the photo session so we didn’t get their normal big smiles … but boy did the older cousins love directing their every move. 🙂 Up until these two, all the other cousins have freckles so I’m surprised they don’t, and even with Cassi having them.

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I may have gotten carried away with the cousins pictures, but cousins are just cool to have. And you have to make it fun for the kids or they’ll never want pictures when they’re older (that’s probably not true but sounded good for future bookings). I did tell Linda that while I didn’t know who said it, one of the boys was talking to the others and said “that was actually pretty fun and I thought it was going to be boring.” So what if the poses/pictures aren’t my technical idea of perfect after a comment like that! This next one is my favorite of the day. There’s just something about holding hands that unite a family in all kinds of good ways.

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And one last picture before we go … the one of the J’s “free range snake”. Ha! He surprised us and Justin picked him up and showed all the kids. When he let him go he slithered up this tree then up into the branches of another tree. Crazy huh?

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Love you Linda and Guy and your great family. 🙂 Hugs to all, Mary

Megan - September 29, 2015 - 7:05 AM

First off, I’m so impressed with how well everyone is coordinated! It’s hard enough for me to figure that out for my small family, and you guys rocked it! Fun for me to see all the familiar faces I hear about but haven’t seen in years. And Leah, your hair, eyes and gigantic smile all make you one stunning woman.

Congrats on a successful shoot, mom. And congrats on finding irreplaceable, lifelong friends.

Jenness Johnston - September 29, 2015 - 7:07 AM

Mary I love the pictures! I spewed them to Lily and Cooper and Paige this morning and we are all in agreement, we LOVE them! ♡

Vince - September 29, 2015 - 7:12 AM

Mary, these are gorgeous! Everyone looks radiant, especially Leah’s megawatt smile. I wish I were able to copy some of these for my desktop slideshow, especially Linda and Guy. I guess I’ll just have to revisit every day!

D'Angelo Waltermire - September 29, 2015 - 7:41 AM

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family.

Kathie Bassick - September 29, 2015 - 7:51 AM

Amazing! Great job and you are so talented and patient with everyone. Love all the pictures.

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 8:38 AM

Aw Megan, you said it with the last line. Love, Mom

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 8:39 AM

Well if Lily, Cooper, AND Paige are all in agreement, then I would call it a successful session. Thanks Jenness!

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 8:39 AM

Vince, so you want pictures of Linda and Guy for your desktop? Oh, I’ve got some pictures I could share all right … and they would be even better than this session if you get my drift.

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 8:40 AM

D’on, how nice to have you here!

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 8:40 AM

That was so nice Kathie — talented and patient? I’m not sure I would ever use those two words for myself!

Linda - September 29, 2015 - 9:37 AM

Wow, Mary–just, wow. Not sure how you managed to take all the Johnston squinters, wigglers and half-blinkers and turn it into beautiful pictures in the bright, harsh sunlight. The things you do with a camera are amazing. I love them! Of course they are 16 of MY favorite subjects in those photos–but I am not prejudiced. The one of the cousins (all my beautiful grandchildren) holding hands in black and white is going on my wall. That one is one of my favorites too. Thanks for tackling our big, noisy family on such short notice and in a place that doesn’t provide the best lighting. (Oh, and I don’t recall all of the photos you might have of me, but I’m pretty sure most of them have me making some kind of crazy face, blinking or doing something kooky for a game–maybe we shouldn’t share those (with Vince).) And, by the way, Kathie is right, you are talented and patient with everyone.

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 9:55 AM

So glad you like them Linda. You may think I am good with a camera, but the Liquid Distort tool in PS has become my new best friend. It let’s me open up squinting eyes that may have been present that day!

Kathy Webb - September 29, 2015 - 12:15 PM

Lovely camera work on a sweet, sweet family. A special time.

Linda - September 29, 2015 - 12:31 PM

Well, whatever you do, I’m impressed. I didn’t know if you’d even get one good one of me–thanks for fixing my eyes. You might have fixed my hair and shaved a few pounds off my middle and chin too! Good job. It is a surprise to see a photo of me in it that I like.

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 12:41 PM

Hi Kathy, thanks for another nice comment about a nice family … just like yours!

Diane - September 29, 2015 - 3:36 PM

Wow the family pictures are amazing. Love that Johnston clan. Great job Mary!!!?

Fairly Candid - September 29, 2015 - 4:20 PM

Hey Diane, thank you, and I love those little hearts at the end of your comment. How do you do that?!

Kathy G - September 29, 2015 - 9:43 PM

I always try to see which picture in the group that I like the best, but in this case it was too hard. Well, maybe the one of Leah and Justin 😉

Fairly Candid - September 30, 2015 - 2:14 PM

That’s a fun way to look at pictures Kathy. I always like to hear which ones are the favorites.

Oh Summer, How I Hate to See You Go!

Today is the first day of Fall. Boo hoo. But I did have fun playing this summer. I enjoyed our new house that is now officially one year old (and I still LOVE it!), swam at the community pool a lot with Mike and g-babes and neighbors, went camping only three times but fun times, went to Jackpot to see Clint Black and to Cottonwood to visit longtime friends, and had birthday outings with wonderful girlfriends. We took g-babes to the circus and the rodeo and camping and took scooter rides whenever they were over to our house (and I got my own Razor Scooter this summer when I turned 61!). Mike and I celebrated 40 years of marriage (love you Babe) and I got back to the gym at the constant nagging of my chiropractor (thank you Scott Coulter!). I had fun planting flowers but did much more flower dead-heading than I ever want to do again. I am sad summer has officially ended, and while I do love Indian Summers, it’s just not the same. I am not a cold weather fan so the thought of winter puts me in a chill. But the most favorite thing I did this summer was take lots and lots of pictures of the little (and big) ones in my life — the ones that often have dirty faces and bad hair days (including me) but they still are, and always will be, the most precious people in my life.

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MJ is our oldest g-babe and he turns 6 in October. He also turned the corner from being a boy to a more mature boy and wants to be called “Matthew” at school instead of MJ — that was a hard one for me. He is kind and thoughtful and is becoming a rule follower with little argument. He freely gives me I love you’s at the most random moments that melt me through and through. But then again, he is the one who calls me “the craziest Gramma in the world” — but truly, coming from him — I think it’s a compliment. 🙂 You will notice throughout these pictures that when his cousins are in them, his arm is usually strung over one of them. He has his moody times for sure, but is learning to take a break and come back into the action with a much better disposition. He started Kindergarten this year and I went to pick him up one day with Danielle and Jayden. He came out and saw me and gave me a big grin, then sat down beside me. I asked how he liked his teacher and he said “Really good. Gramma, would you like to meet her? I’ll introduce you.” We went to Mrs. Ball and he said “Mrs. Ball, this is my Gramma and she would like to meet you.” Now tell me how much bigger the proud suspenders can get on this old Gramma? As I said above I got a new scooter for my birthday (we have four scooters at the house so I would often borrow one of the kids to ride with one or two or them), and the other night MJ and Jayden wanted to take a scooter ride so off we went. Well, long story short is that MJ fell just around the corner from our house when coming home and broke his wrist. We all thought it might just be sprained but after a few days it was evident something more happened. When I went to see him Monday night after his x-rays he met me at the door and said “Gramma, I have some good news and some bad news.” I said I could use some good news so tell me that first and he said “I have to have a cast.” I said that’s the good news?! and he answered “Yes, cause I think it will be really cool — I wanted one.” I said so what’s the bad news? “I broke my arm.” Danielle sent me a picture of him from the doctor’s office and he looks pretty proud of his new accessory. He doesn’t get to play soccer now though so bummer for that. He’s shown with our dog/his dog while camping this summer but you will read about old Sammy a little later.

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Jayden turned 3 in April and is our silly g-babe, always making faces and doing silly things. He says random things all the time … like “Know what I can do Gramma? I can do this” … and he’ll do some silly movement or make a face. He loves doing everything his brother does and parrots him with most things he says. MJ takes it all in stride and rarely stops him. He is happy and kind and crazy and loving. I have said it before and it bears repeating that the boy doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He likes to stay busy and loves to eat — fruit mostly — but he’s a grazer for sure. When MJ fell on his scooter he rode home to get help and was so proud for doing it. He is a big boy and tells me all the time “I can do it myself Gramma.” He is a joy to be around for sure. He’ll continue to hang out with him mom while MJ is at school, but since she is a mom volunteer, he will get to go with her sometimes.

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Sydney is the artist of the family. She loves crafts, paints, coloring, you name it. She has a unique style all her own and we love her individuality. She has her grampa’s laugh and bellows with laughter at something that tickles her — Tom and Jerry episodes have her rolling. Making up stories when my kids were young has been reborn in telling stories to the kids now and Sydney is relentless in asking for the continuing saga of my “Silly Sally” stories that also leave her crying in laughter (which certainly boosts my story-telling ego). Silly Sally gets into quite the predicaments and somehow avoids punishment at times, so stories had to be tweaked after Sydney told her mother she didn’t have to do something while mimicking Silly Sally’s squeaky little voice. Bad Gramma! Sydney has a curiosity about her that has her asking 20 questions every time she’s around or on the phone. “What are you doing Gramma? What are you eating? What is Grampa doing? Did you like that food? Do you love that necklace? Who gave it to you? Is it your favorite?” Who will get it when you die — not that I want you to Gramma.” She is just so darn friendly and wants to know every detail about everyone’s life — but seriously she does come by it honestly. (There may be a few grown-ups in her life that she might relate to. Just saying’.) She is also in Kindergarten and is about a head taller than the other kids but it doesn’t effect her in the least. Actually it gives her a vantage point to pick up her little friends. 🙂 She is sweet and kind and busy but also a little complicated (that means dramatic) at times. Her antics can just make me laugh to myself sometimes. She’s shy at times when the spotlight is on her, she loves wearing dresses and sparkly shoes and always wants to wear my jewelry when she comes over, but she’s a tomboy at heart too and loves a good adventure and getting dirty and all that goes with it. She’s a cuddler and a lover and loves her little brother to pieces, always baby talking to him to make him smile. She’s her sister’s big sister but there are times when I think she thinks she’s her mother. Sydney is her own person for sure and I love the uniqueness that she is.

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Simone also turned 3 in April and while this next picture is not necessarily representative of her, she does have her moments! She cracks me up with her will which can be quite strong at times. She stands her ground too so if it’s not really an important issue, it’s sometimes just best left alone. But mostly she is a sweet little girl who still entertains herself better than all the kids by playing with her dolls and princesses or whatever is at hand. Sometimes she can be persuasive to get Grampa or I to play princesses with her because she asks to sweetly and with the attitude that no is not even an option. Sneaky this one. She started pre-school this year two days a week and loves it, loves it, loves it. She isn’t much for riding scooters, but has no problem staying behind if the rest of us go. She’ll find something else to do and do it happily. She does like running however, and has had many a cut or scrap on that cute little face from face planting it this summer. She is a cuddler as well and if I am sitting down, she will often come lay across my lap for me to scratch her back. She always chooses me to cuddle with when we watch movies, and she sits perfectly still and hardly wiggles so what’s not to love about that! Simone and Jayden are becoming buddies and I love to see them gravitate to one another and get along so well these days. She took gymnastics last year and loved it but this year she wants to do dance so I can’t wait to see her in action. She’s learned a ton from her big sister’s pre-school days so has this school thing down pat. 🙂

_MG_0768_web_MG_2109_webCole was born in May and so he’s 4 months (picture below is 2 months) now and getting cuter and cuter everyday. (Wait! He already was cuter! But this Gramma might be prejudiced.) He’s been the best baby and we hardly know he’s around at times. He’s at his peak of personality when you lay him down because he just talks and talks and talks to you. His body is long but his legs are short so he can’t hold his toes yet. He just started rolling over but he still can’t quite get that arm out from under that heavy body just yet but he will soon enough. He is a happy content little guy who loves to ride in Momma’s Becco, smiles at the drop of a hat, and reaches to hold things. His head is still heavy so he cocks it to one side which is pretty dang cute I must say. He weighs around 18 pounds so does not lack for milk, love or attention that’s for sure.

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From here on out you’ll just see random pictures from camping or the pool or other random events.

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_MG_1128_web_MG_0273_web_MG_1103_web_MG_1116_web_MG_1113_web_MG_1429_web_MG_1423_webIMG_1592_61st B-Day Scooter-Aug 16 2015For my 61st b-day (above) Danielle made me fish tacos (fabulous!) and we spent time with our grand-chickens Kip, Cleopatra, Peep, LaFonda — and Whoopi and Tennessee (not shown). They were purchased this spring and have lived the life of Riley. They lived in the house for months in a watering trough, then when it was warm enough, Matt built them a luxury sweet hotel chicken coop where they reside(d) with Charlie the rabbit until Charlie became a free-range bunny after digging out multiple times. I understand from Danielle that he can be seen daily around the neighborhood always coming home to feast. Four of the six chickens now lay eggs although not necessarily in the nesting box like they are supposed to. They find eggs in the oddest places at times. They co-habitate nicely with Bowie and Sammy (although Sammy did get one this summer) and the kids all love them and vice versa. They are funny little creatures to say the least. _MG_1403_web_MG_1404_web_MG_1415_web_MG_1417_web

_MG_1419_webThis is Sammy our dog of 13-½ years, but truly she isn’t our dog anymore. When we moved into an apartment for 8 months while looking and then building a house, Matt and Danielle insisted she come live with her. She is one of them now and loves her life with the boys and the chickens, Bowie, and Charlie the rabbit. She always was a water dog and this summer Mike and I took her camping with us. She is in her happy place in the water for sure. Love you sweet puppy!

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And this is Bowie (named after Bowie Bay Socks), my grand-dog. She loves me and I do my best to return the affection, but she can be persistent this one. 🙂 She’s a lover not a fighter and would never harm anything but a tennis ball.

_MG_2073_webMy wonderful mom turned 88 this August so we had a family gathering of 31 family (two were significants) at our house. She is surrounded by all but one of her great-grandbabies and she loves them all with an energy like no other. She takes them places, buys them toys and clothes and treats, and gets a kick out of each and every one. She is quite amazing, my mom, and I hope one day to be just like her. She is so energetic and generous and she just can’t hold it in. And when she’s had enough of us, she tells us so!  We love you mom and Granny Jo Jo!

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Our last camping trip of the year was over Labor Day and brrrr was it cold and no fires were allowed. Each day we acclimated more and found things to entertain ourselves outside of the warm trailers. The kids loved this hiking trail we found that went up the mountain, and on one day that warmed up to the high 50’s, the kids went in the water (translated mud). Tough cookies these kids.

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Both boys get to play on the same team and were so excited for their first game.

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Last year Simone was in gymnastics and she loved it, but this year she wanted to do dance and she takes it very seriously. 🙂

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Sydney giggled her way through her first soccer game.

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And sporting his daddy’s professional clothing line is my last g-babe. Ever. Seems so strange still to think he won’t grow up with a cousin-sibling. Something tells me he’ll do just fine though.

_MG_2762_webOops, looks like he’s losing his hair — as they say “Like Father Like Son”. Ha! And so with that friends and family, we’ve come to THE END.
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Meg - September 23, 2015 - 9:20 AM

Reading your blog is like reading a good book that you just don’t want to end. My favorites are always the write ups on the g-babes because it’s fun to read your take on each of them. Loved all the pictures I haven’t seen, even the pouty faces!

Love you!

Fairly Candid - September 23, 2015 - 9:29 AM

Well they are fun to do and write but I sure have trouble these days keeping up! For every picture here there are 10 more! Love you, Mom

Linda - September 23, 2015 - 10:32 AM

Oh, my the cuteness never ends! I bet your kids and grandchildren feel lucky to have such wonderful photos to commemorate your times together. I sure hope mine have good memories burned into their brains, because I don’t have the photographic proof of them all! Good Gramma!

Fairly Candid - September 23, 2015 - 11:01 AM

You have awesome cute grandkids too. We are pretty dang blessed, aren’t we Linda! Oh, and guess what? I have a few pictures to send you that I took of your grandkids at Edna Creek.

Rob - September 23, 2015 - 4:53 PM

Mary, thank you for doing such a phenomenal job capturing all these moments! I love how we have a giant treasure chest of photos because of what you’ve done. You rock!

Simone - September 23, 2015 - 5:19 PM

I like the photos! Grandma, Sydney’s not feeling good.

Sydney - September 23, 2015 - 5:20 PM

I like the photos! I am sick grandma. Mom is getting me mints.

Fairly Candid - September 23, 2015 - 9:03 PM

Robby, Simone and Sydney, how sweet were those comments! I’m so sorry you are sick again Sydney! Gramma will pray for you to get better quick!

Vince - September 24, 2015 - 12:08 AM

What a lovely way to wrap up summer, both in prose and pictures, and how blessed you and Mike are to have such a wonderful — and photogenic — family. By the way . . . love the trunks, Mikey.

Kathy - September 24, 2015 - 8:14 AM

Perfect ending to what sounds like a great Summer for you! Loved the pics and the stories behind them. Love to read the insight behind each grand babe.

Fairly Candid - September 24, 2015 - 9:18 AM

Photos R US!

Fairly Candid - September 24, 2015 - 9:19 AM

Thank you Kathy, and hopefully your summer next year will be a much more fun one than this year after Bob’s surgery. You’ll be running to keep up with him. 🙂

mary - September 24, 2015 - 5:56 PM

As all ways a fantastic job. These memories will never be forgot.